World Bank improved the fall forecast of the Russian economy

The World Bank has positively reconsidered the fall forecast of the Russian economy in the current year: the Russian GDP will decrease not by 3,8%, as it was announced earlier, but by 2,7%. In addition, in 2016 the Russian economy will again show positive growth rates of 0,7%.

The stabilization of global oil prices will let Russia to avoid sharp decrease of the GDP value in the current year; all this will give support to the rubble and lead to gradual weakening of high inflation processes.

According to the World Bank’s experts, the average price for the barrel of Brent oil in 2015 will be $58, and $63,6 in 2016. Such price level will let the Bank of Russia to pursue softer monetary-and-credit policy, which will promote reduction of borrowed funds cost (the key interest rate of the Central bank since 16.06.15 is 11,5%) and increasing the lending volumes of enterprises and households.

The negative influence on economy has consumption, which is significantly decreased next to real decrease in wages for the first time since the last crisis in 2008-2009; and also significantly declined investment activity. The ruble devaluation led to import reduction, which is partly compensated by entry of local manufacturers into domestic market and Government policy of import substitution.

The World Bank’s positive assessment of GDP growth was published just before publication of the clarified assessment of GDP decline in the first quarter of 2015 by Rosstat, the GDP amounted to -2,2% in annual expression, which is worse than previous preliminary data (-1,9%). According to the Central Bank data, in April the Russian economy decreased by 4,2%. Thus, to speak about the beginning of economy "recovery" is still prematurely. The exacerbation of Ukraine situation and the threat of new sanctions from EU and the USA might slow down the process of crisis recovery.

Federal Tax Service offers to expand the data not relating to tax secrecy

The Federal Tax Service of Russia (FTS) offers the regional and local budget draftsmen to expand the list of information that doesn’t relate to tax secrecy. It is suggested in particular for legal entities to disclose the information about the amount of taxes paid, provision of tax accounts, average staff number, property tax.

In accordance with Art. 102 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (TC RF), any data about the tax payer received by tax authorities, internal affairs agencies, investigation agencies, state budget fund bodies or customs agencies falls within the secrecy. At the same time the tax secrecy doesn’t protect such publicly available information as tax payer identification number (INN), violation of the tax legislation by the tax payer and the measures taken in this regard, special tax regime treated by the tax payer.

Last October the Government promoted a bill which gives access to tax secrecy for local and regional financial agencies.

At the same time, the doubters give notice that disclosure of the tax secrecy to general public will lead to leak of data and its availability for swindlers.

The supporters of these amendments consider that corresponding changes in Art. 102 of TC RF will make the business operations more transparent. It will favorably affect not only the work of the tax agencies, but also the forecast accuracy of the regional budget. Unfortunately, nowadays many entrepreneurs work “behind closed doors”, referring to the tax secrecy.